I was asked by an aspiring writer whether at this point it’s still worth it as a writer to own one’s own domain, i.e., in the age of everyone being on Facebook, setting up one’s online shingle elsewhere is like opening a business on a dusty street a mile away from Main Street.
My thought on this: Hey, remember when everyone was on America Online? And then everyone was on Friendster? And then everyone was on MySpace? And now everyone’s on Facebook? Yeah, you’ll notice a pattern here, perhaps.
Yes, but Facebook is huge, you say, with unspeakably large numbers of users worldwide and a valuation of $70 billion.
Wow, I say, just like America Online was huge, with an unspeakably large number of users online and a valuation of over $100 billion.
Yes, but everyone knows that AOL was wildly over-valuated, you say.
Really, I say. And then I let that just hang there as long as it needs to until you get my point.
There’s a huge benefit to having everything in the cloud (per-say) but I feel ownership and licencing is so important and will become a huge issue in the near future. As the author wrote, there has been many services promising a space which you can as such own but none of them have lasted the test of time. Why? Maybe because the companys content strategy doesn’t match our long term goals of ownership.
Some will say, but your just an old fart and holding on to a world where ownership is important. Of course I would say nahh… its more than that, ownership is fundamental to the human condition. If you feel you have no ownership, you feel like a kid and more likely to vandalize someone elses stuff. I mean what difference does it make to you?